Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords
2006 Ford Mustang - Without Limits
Greg Murray Blurs The Line Between Street And Race As He Strives For 200-Plus Mph In His '06 Mustang.
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Many years ago, the line was blurred between street cars and race cars as performance output was taken to insane levels. The question remains-can the DNA of pure race be manipulated and massaged into a street-worthy package? Many have tried to replicate a race car that can withstand the rigors of the public roadways, but few have succeeded.
Greg Murray's '06 Mustang is a mutant that feels just as comfortable in traffic as it does making blasts up to 200 mph and beyond. His latest toy sits comfortably on the boundary between race and street-for some it's over the top, for others it's just right. This car has to push limits given its owner's sights are set on competing in the Unlimited category at the open road rally dubbed the Silver State Classic Challenge.
The road challenge is a high-speed event that takes place on Route 318 in scenic Nevada. For the past two decades, race officials have closed off a 90-mile portion of the state road in order to run this event. The speed limit is abolished along that stretch of roadway for the duration of the race, and the promoters brag that their competitors can drive without limits. The Silver State Classic is unique in that competitors enter a category based on average speed through the 90-mile stretch of road. Everything from daily drivers to full-on race cars participate in various mph categories. For the past four years, Greg competed in the 150-mph club with his '03 SVT Cobra that was mildly modified. His new car was built because he chose to enter the Unlimited category.
As with all forms of racing, the level of competition pushes everyone to build better machines. In order to compete with a course average of 200 mph, one must have a car capable of running faster than that. "I think this car can run in the neighborhood of 220 mph on the straights," Greg says. "You have to get up to high speeds on the straights and try to get ahead of schedule in the first half of the course. The bottom half includes narrow and twisty parts, and you definitely won't be able to make up time down there." A former ARCA race car converted for this event holds the current Silver State Classic record with a 207.78 mph average (driven by Chuck Shafer and Gary Bockman on May 21, 2000). Greg isn't sure if he's ready to break the record, but with time, you never know what this Mustang is capable of accomplishing.
If you think an ordinary Mustang with a few bolt-on parts, a blower, and some suspension upgrades will cut it, then think again. Predator Performance (DuBois, Pennsylvania) was saddled with the task of breeding a horse that can run with the highly modified exotics from Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, as well as former full-on race cars. The Mustang needed a unique blend of race parts and street equipment to meet Greg's goals of a street-legal machine capable of going well over 200 mph.
The team at Predator, led by Chad Vogele, started with a stock '06 Mustang V-6, which was procured from Murray Ford and stripped to its bare shell. Gone are the pleasantries and in went the required pieces of the puzzle. The interior is quite Spartan for street duty but perfect for high-speed fun. Safety is paramount at this level, and Predator grafted a 10-point rollcage into the interior and custom-built, through-the-floor subframe connectors. The dashboard was radically altered and only the essential com-ponents were left in place, i.e., the Auto Meter gauges and switch panel. Custom dashboard pieces were fabricated and help make the dashboard look clean and organized. Greg sits in a Sparco Pro 2000 racing seat secured by a Simpson five-point harness. The factory steering wheel and column were ditched in favor of the racier Sweet collapsible steering column and removable steering wheel. The Safecraft on-board fire-protection system is in short reach of the driver's chair. Custom brake, clutch, and gas pedals were designed for driver comfort and durability in racing scenarios. Predator finished off the interior with Thermo-Control floor mats, hideaway batteries (behind the front seats), and painted racing stripes down the transmission tunnel to mimic the body's paint job.